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Blind Tasting: Kirkland Champagne vs The Brand Name

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

N.V. Kirkland Signature Champagne Brut


N.V. Champagne Delamotte Brut

It's that time again! We had so much fun during our Malbec tasting last week, we decided to jump right back in with another round of side-by-side blind tasting. It happened to work out that there was an occasion that called for some bubbles, so we knew just what we had to do. We needed to put the Kirkland Signature Champagne ($19.99) up against a bottle that was in the bin directly next to it at Costco - Delamotte Champagne ($38.99). We were excited about this tasting in particular since we've never really tried multiple quality sparkling wines back to back in this fashion. New Year's Eve "tastings" don't count in our book since we usually aren't concerned with what is actually in the glass at 11:59PM while watching the ball drop.

We paired these wines with a couple dozen ridiculously good oysters from Washington (thank you to our guests!) as an appetizer and then sous vide ahi tuna with a Spanish style salsa, a Greek lentil, eggplant, lemony-herby salad and saffron basmati rice for dinner. We enjoyed these wines throughout the course of the meal not knowing which wine was in each glass (well, 1 person did, but they kept it a secret!).

Here are some of the comments we heard about each...

Bubbly #1: Poured a nice golden hue, with the most subtle tint of peach, notes of pear on the nose, small and tight bubbles that were pleasing, very dry, nice minerality, slight bitterness on end, clean/focused finish, delicate, sophisticated.

Bubbly #2: More straw colored in the glass. Very fizzy, yet bigger bubbles, bright flavors - maybe some apple, Longer/sweeter finish, bready, more intensity, thicker mouthfeel, hefty, almost oaky in taste.

We discussed these wines at length and bantered over which bottle we preferred over another. It was interesting to see how these choices evolved over the meal. At first, it seemed like much of the group was leaning towards bubbly #2, with it's fruitiness and immediate satisfaction of that heavier texture. As the meal progressed, everyone eventually settled on bubbly #1. The sophistication and delicate properties came through the wine and could be consumed over the course of the meal to compliment the food rather than drawing attention away from it. One taster said, "if I want to drink to party, I'll probably pick bubbly #2".

The reveal....Bubbly #1 was the Kirkland bottle at $19.99! Two weeks in a row the KS label has taken down a competitor that was nearly twice the price! We've always read that the KS Champagne was an incredible value, but this was the first time putting it to the the test in real time. Check out the review on CostcoWineBlog on this very wine - he even does a side-by-side comparison between the newly shaped bottles versus the old. This Champagne is not always in stock at our local Costco - it tends to get scooped up pretty quickly when they arrive, so if you do see it on the shelves and you have a reason to celebrate something in the near future, grab a couple of bottles, you won't be disappointed!

So, there you have it - a Kirkland Signature comes out on top again!

***Both wines purchased in Atlanta, GA, May 2020. We are not receiving anything from nor are affiliated with Costco in any way.

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